September 17th, 2014
I’ve hit the halfway point on Moonlight Kin 4: Tristan. Had a surprise plot point come to me last night, so I need to see how that’s going to effect the rest of my outline. Should just make the story better, since it ups the stakes. I’m looking forward to exploring it. Yes, I’m being purposely vague. *ggg
I have put Phantom Warriors 1: Bacchus up for free on Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble (through Smashwords), and soon to be Apple, when I upload it a little later today. It’ll take a while before the price propagates. My guess is a day or two. I’m hoping to make the book perma-free, but I have no control over the other retail outlets.
September 4th, 2014
Yep, it’s that time again. I have a new release. Meet Hawk! He’s a Slaver, a Pirate, and a badass Shifter all rolled into one. You can read an excerpt HERE. I’m still waiting for Kobo to publish it, but for a short time (i.e. until SATURDAY) you can get the new release for .99. After that, the price will go up to $2.99.
September 2nd, 2014
Three years ago I started self-publishing my backlist. I eventually got everything put up this year. I have noticed a significant change in self-publishing, especially this year. There was a time when you could write the best book you could, have it edited, get an amazing cover, and be pretty sure it would sell decently. Not HUGE numbers, but sustainable numbers. Numbers that would allow most writers to make a living.
Time for a harsh truth: Those days are over.
Now you have to do all the above and hope that you don’t slip down even further. Someone on one of the many lists I belong to was talking about market saturation and predicting even bigger changes to the publishing industry because of it. I believe them. I no longer recognize most of the names I see on the bestseller lists. In fact, I’ve never heard of 85% of them. I don’t want the meaning of those lists to be lost, but I’m afraid that’s exactly what’s going to happen if things continue the way they’re going.
I heard reps from Amazon and Kobo speaking recently and they hinted that big changes were coming. One even hinted at some type of quality control being put into place. I admit that I had mixed feelings about that, since who knows who will be in charge of deciding what’s good or not. The one thing all these changes have driven home to me is that I can’t continue to do what I’ve always done. No matter how hard I work to make my books better (i.e. studying craft, hiring good editors, cover artists, formatters, etc.), my efforts won’t be enough on their own. That is a REALLY difficult thing for me to say and an even harder thing for me to accept. But accept it I must. I’ve come up with a few things I plan to implement on the marketing front, but even those won’t be enough to make a huge dent in a saturated market. (And I don’t mean that in a ‘oh woe is me’ way.) I’m simply stating a fact.
So what does that mean for me and writers like me?
For me, it means changing focus significantly. As much as I enjoy writing romance, I’m never going to be a top-selling romance author. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. (I needed to hear it again.;) I wish that weren’t the case, since that’s been my dream from age fourteen on, but it’s true. My ‘voice’ and the way I approach storytelling is better suited for other genres. Genres I might have a chance of breaking out in. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be writing more romances. I still have a few books I want to write. What it does mean is that they will no longer be my main focus or a priority. They can’t be, if I want to continue to make a living. I will have to push them to the back burner and work on building my other pen names. Pen names that don’t focus entirely on romance. Let the games begin.
It’s a brave new publishing world out there. The only thing certain is change.
August 29th, 2014
Phantom Warriors’ Box Set Sale ENDS TOMORROW!!! Price will return to $8.99.
Lately, I haven’t been in the mood to read new books. My TBR pile suffers the most when this happens. It starts gathering dust, moths, and mold. But I find it really hard to read new books, when I’m in writing mode. I just finished writing HAWK’S SLAVE, a Phantom Warriors’ story and now I’m back to working on Moonlight Kin 4: Tristan. Yesterday, I outlined the whole story. I know some things will change when I dive back into the book, but it helps to have a loose trail to follow. (Helps me at least.)
Because I’m in writing mode, I’ve been re-reading some of my favorite books. Mainly it’s been D.B. Reynolds‘ entire Vampires in America series, but I’m also re-reading Jennifer Armentrout’s Obsession. I should finish with that one tonight. After that, I may read Cynthia Eden’s latest release, Playing With Fire. I’ve read the other two books in the series and really enjoyed them, but I’m a big Cynthia Eden fangirl, so that’s no surprise. I’m HUGELY behind on my Ilona Andrews’ reading, which KILLS ME because I love her/their work so much. (I’ve bought all the books, but I’m several behind.) I guess that gives me lots to look forward to. I’m also waiting for the final book in Jeaniene Frost‘s Dracula trilogy. I’ve read the first book. Own the second, but I’m waiting to read it until the third comes out in January. Yes, I want to read them straight through. I can’t give these authors money fast enough.
I always hate when I get into these re-read moods because there are SO MANY books I want to read. Books I’m looking forward to reading. But the brain is fickle bitch and in this case, it’s not worth fighting it.
Does this happen to any of you?
August 26th, 2014
Phantom Warriors Box Set is on Ebook Deal of the Day. There’s still time to pick it up before the book goes back to its regular price of $8.99.
August 24th, 2014
The folks on my mailing list already received the news, but I’d like to share it with everyone else. Today the Phantom Warriors Box Set went on sale. It’s normally priced at $8.99, but starting today through August 30th it will be on sale for .99. Yes, you read that right. Just .99. This will be the first and last sale of this particular anthology, so get it while you can. One thing to note is that I’ve changed Phantom Warriors 1: Bacchus. I recently did an extensive subplot revamp. I like the story much better now. The new version is in the box set and has been updated for the individual story.
On a side note, Hawk’s Slave, a Phantom Warriors story is finished and off for edits/beta reads. It should be released within the next two weeks. YAY!
August 22nd, 2014
The other day I saw a post on Facebook from one of my favorite authors, Jennifer Armentrout. She was talking about how she wrote a 105,000 word book in 38 days. When I read the short post, I was struck by such feelings of inadequacy. (Totally not her fault.) I know it’s because I’ve been writing a novella for the past few weeks and I’m not done yet. (Will be today, but that’s not the point.) Anyway, my immediate reaction to reading her post was ‘What Am I Doing Wrong?’ I am working as fast as I can right now. I know I need time off between projects or I start developing mental burnout. Of course knowing that meant nothing, when I read her post. I still felt like a failure. Which is why I am so grateful she followed that FB post up with THIS BLOG POST.
Hearing the crazy schedule she keeps was a relief. A relief because I realized that there was no way in hell I could keep her 10 hour a day, 7 day a week writing routine up. I have learned that for me in order to not lose momentum I have to write six days a week. I was writing 500 words a day, which is not much, but recently I’ve up that to 1000. For me, 1000 words a day, 5 days a week (the six day I just try to get a few paragraphs on the page) is sustainable. Anything else is not. Does that mean I only write a thousand words a day? No. Yesterday, I wrote 2500. Monday, I wrote 2200. Tuesday, I wrote 1110. You get the picture. Today will be another 2-3K day because I want to get this book done.
But the whole situation reminded me again of how dangerous it is for writers to compare themselves to each other. Had Jennifer not said how many hours she works, how many days she works, and how she hasn’t gone on vacation in three years, I would’ve sat there thinking that I was somehow lazy for not being able to produce a book in that time period. I think it’s really easy to look at successful writers and feel somehow lacking. This is especially true when you’re putting in the work. But as she reminded everyone, all writers are different. They approach the craft differently. They work at different speeds and that’s okay.
I wrote this blog post because I thought others might need the reminder, too.
Now I’m off to finish Hawk’s Slave. Have a great weekend. Jordan